TREATMENT OF LYMPHOEDEMA
What is Lymphoedema and how can we help you?
At Constantiaberg Human Performance Centre, a multidisciplinary team of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and an Orthotist work together to effectively manage patients with lymphoedema symptoms and complications.
Lymphoedema is a condition which occurs when your lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain lymph fluid, usually from an arm or leg. This results in swelling of the affected limb. Lymphoedema can be either primary or secondary which means that it can occur on its own (primary lymphoedema) or it can be caused by another disease or condition (secondary lymphedema). Secondary lymphoedema is far more common than primary lymphoedema.
Secondary lymphoedema is a progressive, chronic swelling resulting from damage to the lymphatic vessels and/or lymph nodes. This leads to a build up of fluid and other elements (i.e. sub-cutaneous fat or protein) in tissue spaces. It can occur in one or more limbs and affects the corresponding area of the trunk, extending to the head, neck , breast or genitatlia.
Although most commonly associated with cancer treatments, secondary lymphoedema can occur after burns, trauma, venous disease, infection, inflammation, or immobility. Secondary lymphoedema may lead to chronic inflammation and swelling, contributing to fibrosis, skin breakdown, and increased risk of infection.
Even though secondary lymphoedema may not be curable, it is most easily managed with early recognition and therapy. A delay in intervention may lead to more severe symptoms and decreased efficacy with treatment. Although most research has focused on upper-extremity lymphoedema, many of the interventions may be useful for lower-extremity lymphoedema as well.
Lymphoedema is treated with Manual Lymph Drainage and Multi-layered Bandaging or the Mobiderm system. Once swelling is reduced compression garments are worn with regular manual lymph drainage sessions for maintenance.
Kathy Greathead has a passion for treating patients with Lymphoedema. She completed their ILWTI Lymphoedema and wound care course in 2016 under the keen supervision of Suzi Davy.
Kathy has been exposed to Lymphoedema since 2016. She has done numerous courses to further her knowledge in the field of Lymphoedema and Oedema. She works closely with Wendy Greathead, thereby offering clients the best of two minds. She is passionate about the field of Lymphoedema and how it can help patients through this difficult and emotional time (often working with patients post oncological diagnosis and treatment).
Together, Kathy and Wendy work with Marzanne (the Orthotist) to achieve the best possible results for their patients.
Lymphoedema is treated with Manual Lymph Drainage and Multi-layered Bandaging or the Mobiderm system. Once swelling is reduced, compression garments are worn in conjunction with regular manual lymph drainage sessions for maintenance.
Visit our blog to read more about the treatment plan for Lymphoedema.